Toto Wolff ranks top three Formula 1 drivers with George Russell preferred to Max Verstappen

Russell joined Mercedes this season and finished fourth in his first grand prix for the team

Sarah Rendell
Friday 25 March 2022 09:38
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has listed the top three current drivers on the grid and it sees him prefer George Russell to Max Verstappen.

Russell came aboard the Mercedes team this season and recorded a fourth-place finish in Bahrain last weekend at his first grand prix under Wolff. When asked by Sport Bild who the most talented current drivers are, the boss replied: “[Lewis] Hamilton, George Russell and Max Verstappen. In that order.”

He was then questioned about who he thought were the best F1 drivers of all time. “Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna. Each in his own time,” he said.

Hamilton and Schumacher are tied on a record seven world championship wins each, and the British driver will attempt to claim his eighth this season. However, it is looking less likely after Mercedes had trouble with their car in the opening race of the year in Bahrain.

Hamilton managed to claim a podium but only after Verstappen’s car was retired from the race. Wolff says the team are investigating where they have gone wrong.

“We need to understand where we are lacking in performance,” said the team boss. “The quicker we realise that, the quicker we will be. That is physics – not mysticism.

“One issue that will definitely concern us is speed on the long straights. But I don’t expect any enlightening findings on that at the second race in Saudi Arabia.

“We are currently doing damage limitation, third and fourth place in Bahrain exceeded our expectations before the race. In the race, our current deficits were clearly visible. But until we can get the full potential out of the car, we have to take every opportunity to score points.”

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